Author: Ellen Williams of Ministry VA
Survive lockdown as an extrovert and actually make it more fun!
It’s hell ok, there is no way else to look at it! BUT we can change and adapt. We’ve been here before so we KNOW we can and if these tips help you along the way- BONUS! For me it feels like there is an end in sight. To keep me going, I am looking at this period of restriction as Hibernation, not lockdown. It feels warmer, it feels like I have a choice and I do; I have a choice of how to use this time.
We know we need to boost our mood in the darker months. So, I am taking the Hygge approach to this hibernation period. I’m surrounding myself with candles, lighting and plenty of water, blankets and fluffy socks! Remember – lighter, longer days are coming! A first change – I usually like to get up and get the dog walk done but I have changed that to lunchtime so that it is light. I have the benefit of a bit of Vitamin D! Small change, big difference!
Before I move onto the main tips – a plea to those of you living with us extreme extroverts across the UK in lockdown
3147 3. We do not think that you are boring, we do not think that our home life is rubbish! We just crave higher-level energy, more people, the chance to meet new people, see new places, try new things and experience new cultures. We love our home life, but not 24/7!
Ok, let’s do this…
1 Know yourself…
…what makes you tick and what you hate but also, your peaks and troughs of energy, focus, tiredness, moodiness etc. Lots of things you read for surviving lockdown state that you should keep your same routine, but I say different. I never suited the 9-5 world so now I work for myself I start early and finish early. Sometimes I take lunch at 4 pm it just suits me better. Use this time to find a rhythm that suits you, your natural time and create a routine that works for you now.
But… key to this success and general lockdown survival is taking some time to understand yourself. What makes you tick, what truly gives you energy – once you find out what that is tap into it in every way you virtually can!
2 Stay true to your hobbies…
… businesses are adapting AMAZINGLY well to adapt through this and there is no reason you shouldn’t join in the fun! I love eating out, bars, city centres, cosy pubs, beach and forest walks and cooking for extended family and friends. Hosting and socialising is my joy! To replicate it I have been getting restaurant meal kits, taking part in virtual wine tastings and wine Wednesdays, watching plays online, taking part in some self-development (Spanish, funnels and ads) learning skills (mainly cookery and January is sauces and bread 🤤). A lot of these are live so they have other people, chances to interact and meet/chat with people you’ve never met, or never would’ve met! OR could you host one yourself with family and friends? I hosted a wine tasting in Summer which was fab! I don’t think we learned much but we bought the wine from a local supplier. I also arranged for platters to be delivered and I scratched my hosting itch, albeit virtually!
Once you have your hobbies in mind think of all the ways you could do them virtually. Hillwalker – research new routes, is there anything locally you haven’t tried. Plan in a group walk for the Summer or take a tour around some of your dream walks on Google Earth!
Maybe you play a team sport – why not find an online PT that will do you a group zoom training session? Or even focus on the social benefits of the team for a while – try this great virtual game.
Or why not use this time to be creative and tap into your entrepreneurial spirit? Start that business you have been putting on the back burner. Or turn your hobby into a business? Spend half an hour thinking about how and I promise you will have loads of ideas! Send some over to me we can brainstorm together!
3 Online/virtual travel is a thing…
… it’s a wonderful thing! Explore the regions of Champagne, cook along with a chef from South Tyrol, learn about French cheesemakers. I may have to stop there. I am getting hungry/wanderlust at the thought – check them out here. I have also found myself listening to podcasts and audiobooks rather than music. It almost feels like there are people around me chatting and I don’t lose 4 minutes while I sing belters into my pen microphone!!
On the topic of travel – why not use the time to PLAN your next trips? You have research time; time to build your ideal trip, get a budget plan in place, email locals, chat on forums. You can connect with people who have been there or better, those who live and work in your destination! I am not pressing book on anything at the mo as I will be using a Travel Counsellor (they have supported people so well through cancellations etc) and I am sick of cancellation admin! But, I know that I will go to them with my EXACT wish list, I’ll have budget set aside and I know that when we CAN I’ll just press BOOK and we’re off!
4 We can actually explore…
… as well as virtually. In the first lockdown, I found out so much about my surrounding areas as I set off each day with pram, dog and snacks! I soon gave up on the snacks as I found how many wonderful local businesses were adapting and we were able to safely grab something tasty enroute! These businesses, the lifeblood of our community, the links to our villages, towns and cities past are suffering. But my god, they are also the ones who are rising quickly, adapting and fighting hardest, so reward them! Spend your coffee money with a local, buy your meat from your butcher, go to your farm shops! Check out who/what is around you and give them a try, Dominos, Amazon, Starbucks and those busy supermarkets don’t need your cash right now!
5 Connect with extroverts…
…but also take some time to learn from introverts. Plan some virtual time in with the people you usually bounce off. The other extroverts who get the best from you, pull out your creative side and make you feel good! The people you usually have the most fun with! Going weeks without seeing these people will not do, and I don’t think a WhatsApp chat cuts the mustard right now! Make it feel less formal and use Facebook rooms or WhatsApp group videos.
Let’s not run away with ourselves and think we know best (hello fellow extroverts). Connect with people you know are introverts. Learn from them, learn how they rest, have routine, have they slow down and recognise that life doesn’t HAVE to be jam packed. Also, remember, isolation is hard for everyone so introverts need connection too. Chances are they are used to getting some energy from the people around them. They may not recognise why they feel such a slump in energy once the interaction has been removed.
Now for those important DON’T’s!!!!
- DON’T Wallow- it doesn’t suit us! It lowers our energy and vibe! It takes away the essence of us!
- DON’T Connect with other people who are wallowing/negative nellies! We thrive off and sometimes mirror others energy so don’t let the muggles get you down!
- DON’T Avoid everything – I thought I had developed agoraphobia (I am dramatic mind) I went 3 weeks (longest) without leaving my house! So even though I refer to it as hibernation I only mean the nice comfy bits of it, don’t isolate yourself more than you need to!
If you like what you read- share the love, if you want to connect with another extrovert, here I am!! In the meantime, tag me in any posts if you try any of these tips out! Can’t wait to see what you do!